PEOPLE

Alison Lawrance

Friday, 10 January 2014

The cellist and member of the Scottish Ensemble shares the best advice she's ever had

Don’t play it safe. Take risks and it will sound more exciting

I was having masterclasses with William Pleeth at the Britten–Pears School and he stopped me in the middle of the Elgar Cello Concerto’s second movement. He questioned my fingerings: why was I going across the strings rather than flying up and down the A string? ‘Don’t play it safe,’ he said. ‘Take risks and it will sound more exciting.’
I now try to apply this advice to everything I play, and ask myself questions like: is this the best fingering for the music? Could I be more daring? It’s all too easy to do something just because it initially feels like the most comfortable and safe option.

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